'Transformers: Rise of the Beasts' trailer offers 1st look at a chest-thumping Optimus Primal

Forget all about the '80s nostalgia craze that began with Netflix's "Stranger Things," as the '90s are coming back hot with revivals across the entire pop culture spectrum.

"Beast Wars: Transformers" was a hit CGI animated series that ran between 1996 and 1999 and was the next iteration of Hasbro's toy-based franchise that originated with the Transformers Generation 1 line and feature film that exploded across fandom in the mid-1980s. The narrative took place hundreds of years after the events of the first animated series on a very different prehistoric Earth.

Now Paramount Pictures is tapping into fans' fond memories of "Beast Wars" with director Steven Cable Jr.'s live-action "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" arriving in the summer of 2023. Based on Hasbro's iconic alien robots in disguise and loosely inspired by the old "Beast Wars" series, "Rise of the Beasts" will officially be the seventh Transformers movie, acting as a "Bumblebee" sequel.

Related: Ancient evils arise in IDW's new 'Transformers: War's End' comic book miniseries

Rhinox unleashes a deafening roar in "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts." (Image credit: Paramount Studios)

This $200 million sci-fi project stars Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback as archaeologists from Brooklyn, New York circa 1994 who discover an age-old vendetta between three factions of Transformers: the Maximals, the Predacons and the Terrorcons. 

Paramount Studios' first teaser for next year's blockbuster robotic smackdown shines a spotlight on the venerable Optimus Prime, an image-mirroring Mirage, the silver screen live-action debut of Optimus Primal and Arcee, and several popular characters pulled from the old "Beast Wars" show like Rhinox, Cheetor, and Airazor.

"Rise of the Beasts'" chest-pounding trailer nearly broke the internet with roughly 500 million global views this first week alone.

For the film's exceptional vocal cast, the legendary Peter Cullen returns as Optimus Prime and is joined by Ron Perlman's Optimus Primal, Peter Dinklage as Scourge, Pete Davidson as Mirage, Liza Koshy as Arcee, Cristo Fernández as Wheeljack, John DiMaggio as Stratosphere, Michelle Yeoh as Airazor, David Sobolov as Rhinox, and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez as Nightbird.

"Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" chest-thumps its way into theaters on June 9, 2023.

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.